Last night I dreamed A. Fontana Shoe Repair reopened. Angelo was there. Overjoyed, he showed me his new lease--12 more years with no rent increase! Although it had been gutted, most of the interior had somehow been saved and replaced. Only now, instead of a shoe repair shop, it was a barber shop with a single red chair. The walls were pistachio faux-wood paneling, the ceiling strung with Christmas lights.
Angelo felt like celebrating. He poured us each a tall shot glass filled with spicy orange-flavored liquer. I drank mine fast, he sipped his, and I felt embarrassed for drinking mine the wrong way. I told Angelo that I would write about the reopening on my blog and "let everybody know to come back." He smiled but didn't seem to understand what I was saying.
He had a new television and a VCR, and he put in a Marcello Mastroianni movie. The mood shifted. Angelo became quiet and retreated into the back of the shop, through a door, into a decrepit room that looked like a defunct tavern from another age.
I took out my camera to take pictures of the shop for my blog, but the batteries were low and I couldn't get the flash to work. I became anxious, worrying that I would not be the first blogger to announce "Fontana Reopens!"
People started coming in to get their hair cut. Angelo forgot about me. I went outside. The shop windows were foggy and I couldn't see in. I soon realized that Fontana's had not reopened after all. I went into a Chinese hand laundry next door and through their back door connected to the defunct tavern, through that, and into Fontana's. It was gutted and empty.
I looked out the window and saw that that buildings on the corner had been demolished. I thought, "I'm next."
Originally posted at JVNY